Preparing new Beds

amjoOctober 13, 2008

We have 40 acres very near Collins, MO. This was nothing but solid forest until we starting clearing. The land is very rocky and full of dead leaves. Are hope is in the next couple of weeks to build and ready some raised beds for a vegetable garden.

My question is what would the experts recommend to get these beds going. I can read about what to do from any number of books, but it would seem our particular area doesn't fit a lot of these books. Any advice would be great.

Here is a link that might be useful: our site

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we built 3 raised veg beds last yr and added two more this fall. We purchsed creek bottom soil, its sandy-loam. I add composted manure and other soil from lowes. I try and stay away from the cheap top soil for fear of weeds. We screened the creek bed soil with a screen we made. 1/4 inch welded fabric/wire nailed to 2x4's
we have great luck with the beds, but every yr I will be adding compost and other soil.after all the work involved don't skimp on the main ingredent,the soil. I use a professional weed guard on the bottom that allows water thru and I double it. I use weedguard and mulch along and between the beds also to keep weeds down, I allow 30 inches between the beds and 30inch wide beds for easy of reaching from either side. I do have 2 beds 4 foot wide for larger crops such as corn. Hope this is of some help

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 2:46PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Do a search on sweetwm007 on this forum. He does raised beds.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2008 at 4:14PM
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Welcome to Gardenweb Amjo! I think nearly everyone in the Ozarks forum has to deal with having too many rocks so we can all sympathize. You should feel right at home here. I truly enjoyed looking through your blog. You sound like an adventuresome and hard working pair. I didn't know there was more than one kind of Black Widow! I see the other kind around my yard occasionally but have never been bitten. That's scary stuff.
I only have one raised bed that I use for annual flowers and it's pretty small so I can't share a lot of expertise. Buying topsoil for your beds might be pricey but it sounds like you have plenty of leaves to compost so that will help. Some people plant in compost only. If you need to BUY compost and your city has a recycling facility, you may be able to purchase it cheaply there rather than getting bags.

Some other forums that you may find helpful on Gardenweb in case you haven't come across these yet:

Vegetables Gardening

Winter Sowing

Square Foot Gardening (has lots of info on raised beds)

Soil Compost and Mulch

Drought - has info on rain barrels

Frugal Gardening

Seed Exchange

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 10:57AM
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bunny6(7 AR)

I have raised beds made of layered rocks. It soulds like you are you doing it right to me. I didn't put down any weed prevention, but thank goodness mulching has helped keep the weeds down. Also, our town has compost for sale or free if you load it yourself from yard waste. I used that in my beds. I have trees, so in the fall I take a lawn mower and chop up the leaves and put them on the garden. Also put in old grass clipppings. Then I mix it up with the soil. I don't hae a veg. garden, but it works real well with flowers. You are so lucky to have 40 acres. I live in town with a small lot. Are you new to the forum? If so, Hello. Feel free to post, because all the people on here are very friendly.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2008 at 11:09AM
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Welcome to the forum. You should be right at home here.

I don't have any raised beds but did do a lasagna bed right on top of sod for tomatoes. I just put down a heavy layer of paper (feed sacks and newspapers) and then flakes of some old alfalfa hay. I did this in the fall and then just planted the tomatoes in holes last spring. I had the best success ever. If you can find an area away from tree roots you might give that a try for one area.

Tree roots will grow "up" into the raised beds. One was here when we moved and the fibrous roots of the trees were so bad, I tore it out.

I enjoyed your blog. Ahhhh, to be young and energetic again!

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 5:34AM
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Yes I am new here, Been lurking a bit and decided to post. I am so looking forward to having a vegetable garden that I have to plan and plan to death I am sure. As we found out before my encounter with the black widow, pulling rocks up did find some nice dirt. There is also some very good looking soil down by the creek beds if I can just figure a way to get down and back with it.

The tree roots are a concern for me. That is the only thing that was growing there and there are shooters everywhere. Now I must say I was surprised at the amount of grass that grew on its own as we cleared this summer.

We are going down this weekend with a plan to set up a composting pile. We have been saving all out coffee grounds, and veggie matter for a while. Hope to get some manure (craigslist has lots of free manure) and straw. Those combined with any of the trillion pounds of leaves that are down there will hopefully get us going.

Winter sowing is going to be on our agenda as well. We figured we would use half our seed that way and the other half in a more conventional manner. Just as a just in case.

Thanks for the advice and I will check out the other forums mentioned. Hope to gain lots of info.

Here is a link that might be useful: our site

    Bookmark   October 15, 2008 at 7:44AM
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